I'm not sure if it's the pictures or some of you are hungry when reading my blog, but I have been flattered by the many requests of recipes for the different foods we cook and/or bake.  I'm not a big secret keeper of recipes because I know how much joy I get out of eating something so delicious!  But, if any of you are like me, I get MORE joy out of cooking something for someone else and seeing their face light up!  I love reading recipes!  I can literally read them and just taste the flavors OR I can also read them and KNOW I am NOT going to like that one! I love food and love flavors!  Every recipe I list has been tried and if needed, tweaked.  These recipes have come from family, cookbooks, Pinterest, and friends.  In no way, shape or form have I conjured them up on my own-I'm not that talented! I always make a point to give credit where credit is due. On the rare occasion, the credit might be mine😂 I'm also all about super easy!  I hope you find something here that might tickle your fancy and make you want to try it. Happy Eating and Sharing!

Elderberry Syrup

Home Remedy

2 Cups fresh elderberries cleaned and stems removed

2 cups Water

1/4 tsp Clove

1 cinnamon stick

1 Vanilla bean sliced down the middle

4 tsp of freshly grated ginger or 2 tsp. dried ginger

Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup of raw honey

In a medium sized pan, add elderberries, water, clove, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, ginger, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 1 hour.  You will see some liquid start to reduce.

Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour contents of pan in strainer.  With the back of a large spoon, press on the berries extracting as much juice as possible.  Discard berries or use to compost.

To the bowl of elderberry juice, add the honey while it's still warm.  This will help dissolve the honey.  Fill in jar bottles and store in refrigerator. 

To use: take 1 Tbsp once a week as a preventative. If you should start feeling ill, take at the onset and every 3-4 hours. 


My Homemade Apple Butter

6 Pounds of apples of choice: I used 2 pounds each of Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith

1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider

1 1/2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1/4 tsp. Clove

Peel, core, and dice all apples into medium size chunks. Place into large crockpot and add cider ONLY.  Place lid on and cook on HIGH for 2 hours. After the 2 hours are up, add all the spices and stir.  Cook on LOW for 6 hours.  Remove lid and carefully blend everything with an emulsion blender, being careful not to splatter as it is very hot.  Place lid back on and cook on HIGH again for 2 more hours or until desired consistency.  Feel free to use emulsion blender here and there over the next two hours and right before jarring. You will notice that the contents will start to reduce.  This is normal. When you've reached the desired consistency, spoon apple butter into clean jars, seal, and place in refrigerator over night. If you are canning, can as you normally would after spooning apple butter into jars. 

Rosemary's Chicken & Dumplings

3-4 Cups cooked chicken roughly chopped/shredded

7-8 Cups of your favorite chicken broth

3/4-1 Cup Milk

2 Cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 TBSP butter

Salt and Pepper

Start by removing the skin and chopping and shredding your cooked chicken (for easy cooking I buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store!) Place in bowl and set aside.

Next, pour your chicken broth into a stock pot and heat to a boil. While that's heating,  it's time to start creating the dumplings.  In a separate large bowl, add flour, baking powder, and cut in the butter.  Add milk slowly and stir until a nice dough ball is formed. Give yourself some space on a counter top and add about 1/2 cup of flour all over it. I like to cut my dough ball in 1/2 and roll out the dough to about a 1/4" thick or a little less. Be sure to keep your rolling pin floured to help keep the dough from sticking. After it's rolled out, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter and cut strips about 1 1/2" wide horizontally, then do the same vertically.  There really is no rhyme or reason to size, just not too big.  They will swell once cooking in the hot broth. After cutting first dough ball, place all the strips in a lightly floured bowl and roll out the second dough ball and cut as directed. 

Once all the strips are made, add them to the rolling boil broth.  It's important to let them cook for 15-20 minutes once they are all in the pot and KEEP stirring lightly so they don't stick together.  Also, don't let the broth overflow.  After 20 minutes, add the chicken and let simmer a few minutes. 

The flour from the dumplings will help thicken the broth, but if you notice it's not getting as thick as you like, go ahead and add a TBSP or two to a 1/2 cup of cold water, mix well and add to pot. This is where I also add my freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.

Banana Bread

1 Cup Sugar

1 Stick of Butter softened

1 1/2 Cup flour

2 fresh eggs

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

1tsp vanilla

3-4 ripe bananas

walnuts or pecans (Optional and your choice)

Preheat oven to 350

In mixing bowl, cream together sugar and softened butter.  Add eggs and vanilla and combine well.  In a larger separate mixing bowl combine flour, soda, and salt.  Pour egg mixture and mix together.  I use my hand mixer.  Cut bananas into the mixture and blend with mixer again.  It may be a little lumpy by that's okay.  If you choose to add nuts, fold them in at this time.  In a well greased loaf pan (I like my stone loaf pan) pour batter and shake a little to even it out.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Bill's Garden Pickles

6 Cups of sliced (I love using my fancy cutter!) cucumbers

2 TBSP salt

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 tsp. celery seed

5 1/2 tsp. mustard seed

1/4-1/2 red pepper flakes (to your liking)

1/8 tsp tumeric

1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Cup White Vinegar

1 nice size sweet onion sliced thinly

In a large bowl sprinkle salt to sliced cucumbers and mix well with hands to coat the cucumbers best you can.  Refrigerate the cucumbers for one hour.  

Rinse cucumbers well in a colander with water.  Place in large bowl and set aside.  In another bowl combine all the other ingredients except the onion.  Put sliced onions in bowl with cucumbers and mix.  Add vinegar mixture to cucumber/onions and let sit at room temperature for one hour.  In clean jars/containers, divide the cucumbers/onions evenly.  Pour remaining vinegar mixture into containers to top them off.  Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving.  

Before refrigerating, if you have a canning process you like to use, feel free to do that here then refrigerate before serving.

Blackberry or Blueberry Hand Pies

2 Cups of Blueberries or Blackberries

2 boxes of refrigerated pie crusts (2 rolls in each box) brought to room temp.

1/4 Cup Sugar

3 TBSP flour

squeeze of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp cinnamon (for both pies)

1/4 tsp nutmeg (for blueberry pies)

1 TBSP water (for blueberry pies)

1 egg (for egg wash)

Preheat over to 375

Rinse fruit well before proceeding.  If making blackberry pies, cut berries in 1/2 first.  In the bowl of fruit add flour, sugar, lemon, and spice(s). If making blueberry pie, add the water as well.  Mix well.  Roll out the pie crust.  I like to use a bowl I have to make my circles.  It is about 4.5 inches across so I turn it upside down and press out circles.  You can use any size you like, but I wouldn't recommend anything larger than 5 inches (they tend to weigh a little heavy and want break in half after baked) and I probably wouldn't go smaller than 4 inches.  I like to use the crust scraps and mix them together and roll it out to get more circles.  My bowls gives me about 12 circles to one box of crust (2 rolls).   Using a regular spoon (to stir coffee) apply berry mixture into the center of each circle.  Careful not to put to much as it will squirt out when you try to seal.  Take and fold circle in 1/2 and press edges together firmly.  Use a regular fork and create edges by pressing along seal line.  Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  In small bowl, whisk egg.  With pastry brush, brush pies all over sides and top.  Using your fork make little vent holes (just one stab) on each pie.  Bake for 20 minutes

I like to drizzle my homemade icing on them after they've cooled just a bit.  For icing I use 1 cup powdered sugar, tsp vanilla, and 2 TBSP milk.

Grandmama's Corn Pudding

Recipe from Pinterest

2 (14.75 oz) cans cream style corn *

4 Tbsp. butter

4 Tbsp flour

6 Tbsp sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk (whole, 2%, skim, soy..they all work)

Preheat oven to 350

-you can also use 1 can drained whole kernel corn in place of 1 can cream style corn for a thicker consistency.  Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.  In an 8x8 baking dish (not a bowl of any kind), mix butter with sugar and flour.  Add beaten egg and mix.  Add corn and milk.  Mix all.  Bake for 1 hour.

Best Ever Meatloaf

Adapted FromTaste of Home Magazine

(Contest Winner)

1 pound each ground chuck and ground pork (not ground sausage)

3 slices of bread tore in very small/crumbly pieces (dried stale bread is best)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheese

1 small onion diced

2 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp ground sage

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350

Put all ingredients in large mixing bowl. With clean hands mix and smash everything together. Stuff and pat into a large loaf pan.  Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and drain grease with a baster by suctioning the 4 corners where the meat has pulled away from the pan.  Spread the sauce all over, allowing it to drip down the sides of meat a little if possible.  Bake another 30 minutes. 

To make sauce: (I always double this to have a little extra when serving)

1/2 cup (1/2 an 8oz can) of tomato sauce

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp prepared mustard

MY Zucchini Bread (Yes, MINE!😂)Recipe

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp of baking soda

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 cups flour

2 cups diced zucchini or 1-1 1/2 cups shredded

Preheat oven to 350

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Incorporate 1 cup of flour at a time mixing well between cups.  Add zucchini and mix well. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on the bottom of two well greased loaf pans. Divide bread batter equally into loaf pans and sprinkle tops with a little cinnamon and sugar again.  This gives a sweet crunchy top!

Bake for 30-35 minutes

Let cool and slice, serve on pretty platter.

Lavender Linen Spray

3 cup distilled water                    Coffee filter

1-2 tbsp vodka                            Large mason jar

15 drops lavender essential oil   Spray bottle

4 tbsp lavender buds

Bring water to a simmer and add lavender buds.  Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.  Place coffee filter over jar and pour lavender mixture into jar. Throw away coffee filter with buds.  Add vodka and essential oil to mixture, Put lid on and shake well.  When mixture is cool, pour into a spray bottle.  Decorate bottle to your liking if using for a gift. 

Hot Butter Rum Batter

(Adapted from several versions on Pinterest)

2 cups light brown sugar

2 sticks salted butter softened

1/4 tsp clove

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp rum extract

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, combine all ingredients EXCEPT THE RUM EXTRACT. The batter will be a bit smooth yet still have lumps-some big.  That's okay. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Add the extract and mix for another 2 minutes.

I like to use mason jars to store my batter, making it easy to decorate and give as a gift if desired. Spoon in batter and pack down as you go. I actually store our jar on the counter mainly because we go through it so fast, but you can also store it in the refrigerator. 

To serve:  Add 2 large heaping tablespoons of batter to your average size coffee cup and pour hot water over.  Take a sip and see if you need to add more batter.  Feel free to add a bit of rum if you're feeling it! Enjoy!